Author Archives: CAMM

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Administrator, Council of American Maritime Museums

Maritime Heritage Funding Bills – Action Needed

June 28, 2015

Maritime Heritage Funding Bills Introduced in U.S. House and Senate—Action Needed

Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) introduced in the House on June 24 the Storis Act (H.R. 2876), the companion to the Senate bill (S. 1511, Storis Act) introduced June 4 by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA). Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) was co-sponsor. It was referred to the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

The House bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Rep. Filomen Vela (D-TX). The bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce and Energy and the House Armed Services Committee.

Both versions of the Storis Act include Section 4 (c) (C), which will restore the maritime heritage grant program at the level of funding set in the National Maritime Heritage Act (1994). This is a major step forward and requires action by the maritime heritage community. We must contact members of Congress to secure more sponsors of the bills, and supporters in both House and Senate. This will ensure the bills will pass committees and be incorporated in a spending bill.

A draft letter is attached. Also attached is a list of committee members of the Senate Commerce Science and Transportation Committee, and the House committees on Commerce and Energy, and Armed Services. Note the list of members of the three subcommittees assigned to act on the bills. We must contact those members.

Write to those on committees in your district and state. If your senators or representatives are not on the three committees, write anyway. You can urge them to become sponsors of the bills, or vote if a bill is on the floor.

Contact with members of Congress is critical. If possible, copy your e-letter to the appropriate staff member in the office. Please make the effort. Please send me copies of your letters.

Thanks for your support.

Tim Runyan                                                                                                                                                                      Chair, National Maritime Alliance

Support Letter Template Storis Act.6.29.15

Senate CST Committee.Subcom. Surface Trasport. 2015.

Subcoms. on Environment and the Economy Armed Services

CAMM Banner Displayed on Kalmar Nyckel

KALMAR NYCKEL captain Lauren Morgens hoists the CAMM banner. Photo from the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation Facebook page.

KALMAR NYCKEL captain Lauren Morgens hoists the CAMM banner. Photo from the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation Facebook page.

The CAMM banner made a surprise appearance on Kalmar Nyckel. Perhaps this is a trial run of the cruise CAMM conference participants will be taking next April? As hosts of CAMM’s 2016 conference in Wilmington, Delaware, the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation is gearing up early for what should be a great event!  Mark your calendars for April 25 – 27.

Support Needed for Bill to Restore Maritime Heritage Funding

Submitted by Tim Runyan, Chair, National Maritime Alliance


Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the Storis Act on June 4, with co-sponsor Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). It is Senate Bill 1511 (S. 1511).  Storis (Ships to be Recycled in the States) Act was referred to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee (CST). The Act includes Section 4 (c) (C) that restores funding for the maritime heritage grants program.

Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) is expected to introduce the Storis Act in the House very soon.

However, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee just introduced its version of the Coast Guard Authorization Act that we hoped would include the Storis Act (S. 1511)–it did not. We must alert senators, and ask them to add the Storis Act to the Coast Guard bill; or support the Storis Act as a stand alone bill. CST has scheduled an executive committee meeting for Thursday, 25 June. We must act NOW!

I have attached a draft letter for you. Please email/mail your letters to your senators, and appropriate staff members. Write both of your senators–most will not be on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee (CST). I have attached a list of members.

You can write on behalf of your organization to a member of the CST Committee—I suggest Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) the Ranking member of CST; Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) Ranking member of the subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Merchant Marine, and Ranking member of the subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) are also on both of those subcommittees. Also, Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI); Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) On Oceans, Coast Guard subcommittee.                                                                             

If you know of maritime heritage organizations or initiatives in the state please mention them. Write your senators; and target CST Committee members.

I know writing takes some time. But we know that advocacy pays off–$7M.  $2.6M awarded in April, and the deadline for round two proposals ($1.7M), is August 3.

Please write before Thursday, later if you must.


Letter to Support Storis Act

Senate CST Committee 2015

CAMM Welcomes Florida Maritime Museum as its Newest Member

Photo courtesy of Florida Maritime Museum

Photo courtesy of Florida Maritime Museum

At their last meeting, the Council of American Maritime Museum’s Board unanimously voted to approve the Florida Maritime Museum’s application for affiliate status. They are delighted to have this Gulf Coast institution included in CAMM’s membership.

According to their website, “the Florida Maritime Museum is sponsored by Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Courts, and is situated on almost 4 acres of land in the historic fishing village of Cortez. Cortez Villagers have survived hurricanes, economic depressions and threats to their livelihood from a reduction in fishing grounds and regulations on the fishing industry. The residents of this community are passionate about preserving the past and ensuring that current and future residents and visitors to Manatee County understand the significance of Cortez Village and the broader maritime history of the area.”

“Founded on the importance of this regional, commercial fishing industry, FMM tells a number of stories pertinent to all aspects of Florida’s maritime history. Exhibits include historic photographs, boat models, tools, instruments, and other historically significant material relevant to Florida’s maritime culture and history. The museum is also home to a research library that includes a variety of books, plans, logs, diaries, periodicals, letters, records and related archival material whose content is relevant to research concerning maritime subjects with special emphases on Florida’s Gulf Coast.”

Save the Dates for the Next CAMM Conference

Marifrances Trivelli hands over the CAMM banner to Sam Heed of the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation as CAMM president Dave Pearson looks on. The handover of the banner from the 2015 host, Los Angeles Maritime Museum, to the 2016 host took place during the final dinner of the 2015 CAMM conference.

Marifrances Trivelli hands over the CAMM banner to Sam Heed of the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation as CAMM president Dave Pearson looks on. The handover of the banner from the 2015 host, Los Angeles Maritime Museum, to the 2016 host took place during the final dinner of the 2015 CAMM conference.

The 2016 CAMM conference will take place in Wilmington, Delaware, at Kalmar Nyckel Foundation’s new Maritime Center on April 25 – 27. This year’s conference will be extended from two to three days in order to include professional training sessions that will supplement the traditional programming. The 2016 CAMM programming committee is being formed and will soon be issuing a survey to determine the topics of most interest to CAMM members.

Storis Act Introduced: Maritime Heritage Act Funding Included

The following is a press release from Senator Vitter’s office forwarded by Tim Runyan of the National Maritime Alliance. Tim writes that the Act “includes a provision to reverse the amendment to the National Maritime Heritage Act that eliminated the requirement that one-quarter of ship recycling funds be directed to the maritime heritage grant program. This bill will restore that full funding.”

Vitter, Cassidy, Graves Introduce Legislation to Improve Ship Recycling, Create Jobs

Thursday, June 4, 2015

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senators David Vitter (R-La.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) today introduced the Ships to Be Recycled in the States (STORIS) Act, legislation to reform the domestic marine recycling industry. Their legislation would improve the domestic ship recycling industry and promote transparency by requiring reports from Maritime Administration (MARAD) and an audit by the Government Accountability Office. Congressman Garret Graves (R-La.) is introducing the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“The Maritime Administration receives millions of dollars in federal funding, but they’ve never reported how the sales money is spent or how the agency awards contracts,” Vitter said. “Ship recycling is an important part of our domestic maritime industry, and these reforms would improve federal contracting, cut government waste, and help create jobs in Louisiana.”

“Louisiana directly benefits from the Maritime Administration—hundreds work in ship recycling facilities and many state museums receive maritime grants,” said Cassidy. “There have been concerns that the agency receives millions in federal funding but lacks transparency. The STORIS Act will strengthen oversight over the agency and help create more jobs for Louisiana workers.”

“Americans expect the federal government to operate in their best interest,” said Graves. “We have found multiple instances where the U.S. Maritime Administration has failed to maximize the return on investment on the sale of retired federal vessels by not accepting the highest bid on a number of contracts and not fulfilling its obligation to reinvest these funds in our merchant mariner workforce. This bill will prevent MARAD from leaving millions of dollars on the table in regard to ship recycling contracts and require that we have the workforce we need to increase global trade and exports from Louisiana.”

Current law requires all excess government vessels to be sold to domestic marine recyclers to be dismantled. A portion of funding from the sales goes toward the Vessel Operations Revolving Fund, federal and state maritime academies, and the maritime heritage grant program. The STORIS Act would make sure that the required funding goes to federal and state maritime academies and to heritage grants funding to the Department of Interior. It would also require MARAD to issue an annual report on how its money is spent and publicize its ship recycling agreements.

Additionally, the STORIS Act creates jobs by ensuring that all vessels can be dismantled in the United States in compliance with U.S. environmental and safety laws, and are not exported where those safety rules do not apply.

The STORIS Act is named in recognition of the former Coast Guard Cutter STORIS, which was dismantled in Mexico in 2013 in violation of the current law.

CAMM Member Blogs

CAMM members have created an impressive variety of blogs to highlight their exhibits, collections, and educational resources. They are listed under the “Resources” section of our website. Have I missed any?

Submitted by Candace Clifford, CAMM Administrator, June 4, 2015